The study of World Languages and cultures is a crucial component of a BWL education. We offer the choice of French, Spanish, or Japanese language study, giving students the international communication tools they need to assume future leadership roles with confidence and flexibility. The department's rich curriculum begins in Kindergarten. Kindergarten through second grade have a half a year of French instruction and the other half is Spanish. In the Fourth and Fifth Grade, Japanese is added and students take a six to seven week course in each of the languages offered. This introductory sampling provides a basis for each student to choose the language that they will study through Middle and Upper School. Advanced Placement courses in foreign language are also taught in the Upper School to eligible students.
Talented, native-speakers faculty members foster enthusiasm for the World Languages curriculum through a combination of traditional academics and cultural immersion. Grades are based on speaking skills as well as on student conduct, cooperation, effort, mutual respect, preparedness and attitude. Classroom and fieldwork are complemented by homework assignments, oral presentations, group work, skits and projects. Students have access to foreign media resources through the BWL library. Technology further advances the study of foreign language with the videotaping and recording of students in class, to provide them with the opportunity to observe and trace their own progress.
Special events hosted by the World Languages Department at BWL include the International Convention, a unique evening that showcases the food and culture of a wide range of countries that have been studied by Upper School World Language students, as well as the International Food Festival in the Lower School. The cultural resources available in New York City complement the intimate classroom atmosphere, creating a balanced learning experience. From the classrooms of the Lower School to the fascinating overseas destinations visited by Middle and Upper School students, the World Languages Department at BWL imparts a global awareness that will benefit students for their entire lives.
"Talented faculty members foster enthusiasm for the World Languages curriculum through a combination of traditional academics and cultural immersion."